Multivitamins: Quality Counts
Quality multivitamins are more important than ever right now.
Chronic illness in America continues to increase. The pandemic also increases the need for extra nutrients to support the immune system. By priming the body with quality support, you will have a better overall health and hence a better response to viruses and other pathogens.
As an example, a good multivitamin contains Vitamin A. Vitamin A is crucial to the health of the mucous membranes of the lungs, naso-pharangeal system, and gastrointestinal lining. Together, these constitute the body’s first line of defense to pathogens.
Vitamin A is also involved in other aspects of the immune system, like the stimulation of the innate immune response. It also assists specific T and B cell response to viral, parasitic, and bacterial infections.
So without an optimal amount of Vitamin A, your first line of defense and other aspects of the immune system may not function optimally.
Another crucial nutrient is Vitamin D. Low vitamin D levels have been shown in multiple studies to worsen Covid-19 outcomes. 1,2,3 Vitamin D supports immune function and is also involved in immune modulation.
In other words, having adequate Vitamin D reduces the chance of having the excess inflammatory reaction. This reaction is characteristic of poor Covid-19 outcomes. A quality multivitamin should contain at least 1000 IUs, or 25 mcg, of Vitamin D3. Depending on your own Vitamin D levels, you may need more.
Zinc is also important to immune function. A recent review of zinc in Advances in Integrative Medicine indicates that due to its role in fighting acute viral infection, zinc may reduce the risk, duration, and severity of Covid-19 infection.4 This is not surprising as zinc affects both innate and adaptive immunity. A quality multivitamin should have a minimum of 7.5 mg and up to 30mg of zinc in it.
Selenium plays a major role in the body’s antioxidant defense. As white blood cells attack invading pathogens, they cause free radicals to form. Selenium helps to “mop up” these free radicals by supporting glutathione, one of the body’s most important antioxidants. Selenium also plays a role in thyroid health, which affects all body systems.
A new study in Nutrients lists the following micronutrients as most effective in protecting against viruses like Covid-19: Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, as well as minerals iron, selenium, and zinc. Each of these nutrients can be found in a quality multivitamin in amounts that would supplement a healthy diet.
If you do not maintain a healthy diet, you have an even greater need for nutrients. Since drug store multivitamins generally contain low amounts of nutrients, they may not be adequate to support your health.
Above are just a few examples of the myriad ways in which a quality multivitamin can support you!
There is a significant difference in what is provided by your drug store multivitamin, and one that you will find at Walsh Natural Health. Here are just a few reasons to make the switch:
- Nutrients the Body Can Recognize and Absorb—Quality multivitamins contain the form of each nutrient that is both recognized by and well-absorbed by the body. You may find calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, DL-alpha tocopherol, zinc oxide, and sodium selenite in your drug store multi. Better forms, respectively, would be calcium citrate, magnesium citrate or glycinate, d-alpha tocopherol, zinc citrate, and selenomethionine. Why does your drug store multi contain poor forms? One simple reason: it makes them cheaper to produce. However, cheaper does not mean better. If your doctor tells you that you are “peeing it all out” anyway, then surely they are talking about typical drug store multivitamins that are not well-absorbed or used by the body.
- Potency—Certain levels of nutrients are required to produce an effect. Lower levels amount to window dressing. Don’t be fooled by vitamins that show 100% of Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). These guidelines are designed to be average levels for healthy people. DRIs are adequate only for avoiding overt deficiency and optimal function requires more nutrients. Hence, DRIs do not provide adequate protection for those experiencing illness, outside stressors, medical conditions, or genetic variations. So in essence, the Daily Reference Intakes are appropriate for very few people.
- Unhealthy Preservatives—Titanium dioxide, BHT, hydrogenated oils, and more! These ingredients are in many drug store multivitamins for the manufacturer’s benefit, not yours. Typically they extend shelf life. Titanium dioxide is a mineral that has no positive role in human health. BHT has been identified as one of the top additives to avoid by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Hydrogenated oils have hydrogen added to them to improve their shelf life. Unfortunately, the body does not know how to process them. Hence, they circulate undigested and cause inflammation in the body.
- Unnecessary Fillers—If your multivitamin has corn starch and/or maltodextrin in it, those are fillers, plain and simple. They have no nutritional benefit and don’t belong in your multivitamin.
- Colorants—Certain colorants are approved by the FDA as “safe”. However, some research connects the use of colorants to conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, and autism. Colorants are chemicals, not nutrients. I have never understood that need for these in supplements of any kind.
Quality multivitamins can ensure that you have optimal levels of nutrients to keep your body functioning at its best. In addition, they can fill in gaps in the diet, and provide nutrients to deal with the effects of stress or other conditions.
We can help you find a multivitamin that is right for you. If you require gluten free, vegetarian or vegan, or have other special needs, we have options available to suit you. Contact us at (847) 864-1600 | (888) 960-6578
- Treatments for Covid-19, Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/treatments-for-covid-19#:~:text=There%20is%20some%20evidence%20to,with%20COVID%2D19.
- Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results JAMA Network. September 3, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2770157
- The link between vitamin D deficiency and Covid-19 in a large population, MedRxiv. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.04.20188268v1
- Arentz S, Yang G, Goldenberg J, et al. Clinical significance summary: Preliminary results of a rapid review of zinc for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 and other acute viral respiratory infections [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 1]. Adv Integr Med. 2020;10.1016/j.aimed.2020.07.009. doi:10.1016/j.aimed.2020.07.009 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7395818/
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